Pranab allays fears of below-normal monsoon | business | Hindustan Times
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Pranab allays fears of below-normal monsoon

business Updated: Jun 22, 2011 21:34 IST

Allaying concerns over the forecast of 'below normal' monsoon rains during the current season, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the projections are only a shade below the annual average.

"Let us wait for some more time," Mukherjee told reporters in New Delhi on a query related to the monsoon rains.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday said monsoon rains are expected to be below normal at 95% of the Long Period Average (LPA), with margin for error of plus or minus 4%.

A below normal monsoon can have a serious fallout on agricultural input.

"They (IMD) are saying it would be around 95% and normal average is 98%," the finance minister said.

In April, during the first monsoon forecast, the government had said the monsoon would be normal, with the rainfall likely to be 98% of the Long Period Average (LPA), with an margin of error of plus or minus 5%.

Monsoon rains from June to September are a key factor for global commodities markets, as they influence output of various crops in India, which is among the world's leading producers and consumers of wheat, rice, sugar and edible oils.

The monsoon rains are crucial for summer-sown crops, as about 60% of the country's agriculture is dependent on rains. Due to a widespread drought in 2009-10 and a dearth of rainfall in some parts of the country in 2010-11, paddy production had suffered.